29 research outputs found

    Adolescents perception of reproductive health care services in Sri Lanka

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Adolescent health needs, behaviours and expectations are unique and routine health care services are not well geared to provide these services. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceived reproductive health problems, health seeking behaviors, knowledge about available services and barriers to reach services among a group of adolescents in Sri Lanka in order to improve reproductive health service delivery.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This qualitative study was conducted in a semi urban setting in Sri Lanka. A convenient sample of 32 adolescents between 17–19 years of age participated in four focus group discussions. Participants were selected from four midwife areas. A pre-tested focus group guide was used for data collection. Male and female facilitators conducted discussions separately with young males and females. All tape-recorded data was fully transcribed and thematic analysis was done.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Psychological distresses due to various reasons and problems regarding menstrual cycle and masturbation were reported as the commonest health problems. Knowledge on existing services was very poor and boys were totally unaware of youth health services available through the public health system. On reproductive Health Matters, girls mainly sought help from friends whereas boys did not want to discuss their problems with anyone. Lack of availability of services was pointed out as the most important barrier in reaching the adolescent needs. Lack of access to reproductive health knowledge was an important reason for poor self-confidence among adolescents to discuss these matters. Lack of confidentiality, youth friendliness and accessibility of available services were other barriers discussed. Adolescents were happy to accept available services through public clinics and other health infrastructure for their services rather than other organizations. A demand was made for separate youth friendly services through medical practitioners.</p> <p>Conclusions and recommendations</p> <p>Adolescent health services are inadequate and available services are not being delivered in an acceptable manner. Proper training of health care providers on youth friendly service provision is essential. A National level integrated health care program is needed for the adolescents.</p

    Breastfeeding practices in a public health field practice area in Sri Lanka: a survival analysis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Exclusive breastfeeding up to the completion of the sixth month of age is the national infant feeding recommendation for Sri Lanka. The objective of the present study was to collect data on exclusive breastfeeding up to six months and to describe the association between exclusive breastfeeding and selected socio-demographic factors.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A clinic based cross-sectional study was conducted in the Medical Officer of Health area, Beruwala, Sri Lanka in June 2006. Mothers with infants aged 4 to 12 months, attending the 19 child welfare clinics in the area were included in the study. Infants with specific feeding problems (cleft lip and palate and primary lactose intolerance) were excluded. Cluster sampling technique was used and consecutive infants fulfilling the inclusion criteria were enrolled. A total of 219 mothers participated in the study. The statistical tests used were survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional Hazard model).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>All 219 mothers had initiated breastfeeding. The median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was four months (95% CI 3.75, 4.25). The rates of exclusive breastfeeding at 4 and 6 months were 61.6% (135/219) and 15.5% (24/155) respectively. Bivariate analysis showed that the Muslim ethnicity (p = 0.004), lower levels of parental education (p < 0.001) and being an unemployed mother (p = 0.021) were important associations of early cessation of exclusive breastfeeding. At the time of the study, 62% (135/219) of infants were receiving feeds via a bottle and 23% (51/219) were receiving infant formula. Muslim ethnicity was significantly associated with bottle and formula feeding (p < 0.001). Bottle feeding was also significantly higher among mothers with a low level of education and among employed mothers.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The rate of breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding up to the fourth month is very high in Medical Officer of Health area, Beruwala, Sri Lanka. However exclusive breastfeeding up to six months is still low and the prevalence of inappropriate feeding practices is high.</p

    Incidence and effects of Varicella Zoster Virus infection on academic activities of medical undergraduates - a five-year follow-up study from Sri Lanka

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The adult population in Sri Lanka is having high level of susceptibility for Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) infection. Among medical undergraduates, 47% are VZV seronegative. The purpose of the present study was to determine the incidence of VZV infection in medical undergraduates in Sri Lanka, and to describe the effects of VZV infection on their academic activities.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A retrospective cohort of medical undergraduates' susceptible for VZV infection was selected from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Data on the incidence of VZV infection (Chickenpox) during their undergraduate period was collected using a self-administered structured questionnaire. A second questionnaire was administered to collect data on the details of VZV infection and the impact of it on their academic activities. VZV incidence rate was calculated as the number of infections per 1,000 person years of exposure. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the impact of VZV infection on academic activities.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Out of the 172 susceptible cohort, 153 medical undergraduates were followed up. 47 students reported VZV infection during the follow up period and 43 of them participated in the study. The cumulative incidence of VZV infection during the period of five and half years of medical training was 30.7%. Incidence density of VZV infection among medical undergraduates in this cohort was 65.1 per 1,000 person years of follow-up. A total of 377 working days were lost by 43 students due to the VZV infection, averaging 8.8 days per undergraduate. Total academic losses for the study cohort were; 205 lectures, 17 practicals, 13 dissection sessions, 11 tutorials, 124 days of clinical training and 107 days of professorial clinical appointments. According to their perception they lost 1,927 study hours due to the illness (Median 50 hours per undergraduate).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The incidence of VZV infection among Sri Lankan medical undergraduates is very high and the impact of this infection on academic activities causes severe disruption of their undergraduate life. VZV immunization for susceptible new entrant medical undergraduates is recommended.</p